Inside: Here are 8 ways to make family history for kids loads of fun! Family mission statements, jingles, songs, mottos, and more. It’s the perfect way to create lasting family memories.
Family History for Kids is Fun!
Family history for kids can be meaningful, fun, and memorable! Especially when you create family traditions that will last forever.
For example—have you ever created a family mission statement? What about a Family Flag, a Family Jingle, or Family Motto? Or, does your family have a secret code–known only to family members?
Once you do these activities (and more) you will come to realize that family history for kids is fun!
Here’s how to create 8 family activities that everyone will remember!
#1 Family History for Kids: Creating A Family Mission Statement
In the 1970s, I read Stephen Covey’s book about mission statements (7 Habits of Highly Effective People). He also said families, not just companies, should write mission statements and he wrote a book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective Families,” to teach us how.
In the mid-80s, we gathered our kids together and wrote our family mission statement.
Mission statements are declarations of the core values and beliefs of your family. They bring families closer and should be uniquely yours.
As your family grows and embraces additional ideas and values, change your mission statement to mirror those new ideals. People change—your family mission statement should reflect those changes.
If you’re wanting to write a family mission statement—here are some ideas Stephen Covey says to consider:
- Incorporate all four human endowments: self-awareness, conscience, creative imagination, and independent will.
- Be realistic enough to be attainable.
- It should define the life you want to lead, different character traits, and how you want to impact others.
Click here for a guide to help you write a family mission statement
Mission statements help your kids understand that family history for kids is fun. Here are some steps we took to create our mission statement:
- Call a Family Meeting
- Discuss what makes your family special
- Make a list of your family’s values and beliefs
- What are 5-10 of the most important things about your family that you want to include in your mission statement?
- Write Your Family Mission Statement. Keep it to 30-100 words. It can be written in bullet-point form
- Give everyone a copy and frame one and hang it in your home.
- Refer to it often and change and alter it when needed.
Example of Our Family Mission Statement
Here is an example of the family mission statement we wrote in the 80s:
“Our Family Mission Statement includes:
*To love and value one another
*Be willing to serve and help others in need
*Cherish learning—strive to become lifelong learners
*Take care of the earth
*Laugh often, love much, and have a sense of humor!”
#2 Family History for Kids: Make a Family Flag!
Family history for kids comes alive when you create a family flag which can be a visual representation of your family’s core values.
We made ours in the 80s—and hung it on a flagpole inside our home where we could look at it daily.
Here are some ideas when making your family flag:
#1 Values You Want to be Represented on Your Family Flag
As a family, list about 6 values that are important to your family and that you want to be represented on the flag such as honesty, integrity, education, service, etc.
#2 Choose Flag Colors
Colors are symbolic of different values and can add meaning to your flag. We chose these 4 colors for our family flag because of their meaning and how they correlated to our values:
- Red: sacrifice & courage
- Blue: inspiration & wisdom
- White: goodness & spirituality
- Yellow: joy & happiness
#3 Choose Symbols
Flags also need symbols to represent your values. Our symbols included:
- Praying hands = prayer
- Hands = service
- Art palette = talents
- Silhouette of two people = helping others
- Church = belief in God
- Books = lifelong learning
#3 Assembling the Flag
Our flag is 3’ x 5’. Yours can be smaller or larger.
I used 4 different symbolic colors of fabric. Each section was in the shape of a triangle that came together in the middle with a symbol of a child—representing our 5 boys.
Our flag represented 6 values. Find and download templates symbolizing your values; trace them onto fabric and cut them out.
Sew each symbol onto a white oval shape piece of fabric.
Assemble all your pieces; spacing out each symbol to balance the flag. Pin it all together and sew it into place. Last, sew a piece of fabric onto the back for support.
#3 Family Jingle or Adopt a Family Song
A family jingle is a short, concise poem (of sorts) that represents an entertaining segment of your family. The idea is to make it fun (or ridiculous).
Here is our very corny family jingle. Our family made it up (circa 1989) and it stuck.
“Habermeyer’s can’t be beat
It’s cause we’re so exceptionally sweet.
Work and play, and learn and serve,
We’ll get all that…we deserve!”
When writing a family jingle, use strong action words, adjectives, repeated vowel and consonant sounds, and rhymes. And, have each line have a similar number of syllables.
In our jingle—”beat and sweet” rhyme as well as, “serve and deserve” and each line has 7 syllables (except line #2).
If that seems too difficult, then choose a song about “family” from a pop group and make it your family song. We like, “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge. We change the lyrics a bit—from “sisters” to “brothers” –since we have 5 boys. It’s fun belting these songs out at family get-togethers!
Remember: Family history for kids is fun–especially when the family sings together.
Here are some other possible songs about family to choose from:
- ‘Family Is Family‘ by Kacey Musgraves
- ‘Daddy Sang Bass‘ by Johnny Cash
- ‘Family Business‘ by Kanye West
- ‘Family Man‘ by Fleetwood Mac.
#4 Family History for Kids: Create a Family Motto
Family mottos are usually short, sweet, and to the point!
They represent what your family believes in and adheres to. It’s a saying that reflects the decisions and values of your family.
Here are some ideas when crafting your family motto:
- Make it short! It can even be one or two words: Kind. Compassionate.
- Aim to keep it emotional. It should strike at your family’s heart and values.
- Or, take popular pithy phrases and adopt them as your own
Here are examples of some of our family mottos:
- Do Your Best. No Regrets
- Our Family Can Do Hard Things
- Choose Kindness Every Time
- Be Prepared (also the Scout motto—since all of our sons were Eagle Scouts)
- Choose the Right
- Pray Like Everything Depends on God. Work Like Everything Depends on YOU!
#5 Family Secret Code
Our “secret family code” was developed to keep our kids safe when we were not around.
We explained to them the importance of safety. If a stranger approached them—that person was only safe if they knew our family’s “secret code.”
Ours is a one-word secret code. It was only known to our family and our kids understood that they were not to share it with anyone.
Our kids never had to use it—and now our grandkids have a family secret code.
However, when our oldest son was 10, he was dying to try out the secret code on someone. An emergency came up and as a favor, my friend went to pick up our kids from school. My son knew this lady very well but he asked her for the secret code anyway. She didn’t know it. He refused to get into the car with her.
After some coaxing, he agreed to go with her. Make certain your kids know the difference between friends and strangers.
#6 Family History for Kids: Making Family Calendars
In 1986, I created an extended family calendar. Putting together a calendar by hand without technology was a ton of work. I did the set-up and typeset before taking it to the printers. It was expensive and the result was mediocre.
Fast forward to the 21st century with loads of technology—creating a family calendar is easy and the results are amazing!
You can find personalized family calendar templates from
Examples of your pages can include
- Your kids/grandkids’ artwork—hand-drawn pictures of family members
- “Do You Know Your Ancestors” page(s)
- Highlight a family member
- “Pictures When We Were Young”
- Memorable pictures from family vacations, reunions, celebrations, etc.
If your kids are married—these make fabulous family gifts as a way to keep the family updated.
#7 Family Photo Journals
When our kids were little, photo albums were the rage. I didn’t like them because there was one tiny photo and a bunch of silly clipart cluttering up the pages. Instead, I created photo journals. Each page had a picture or two, and then I wrote a blurb about each activity on the page. I made 80 books–20 for each child.
They are a photo history of their lives and experiences and along with all the videotapes my husband took of each life event, our sons have 100s of hours of documented history of their lives.
Now, we have grandkids and our sons are taking lots of pictures and videos to document their kids’ lives.
As a grandparent, we started giving our grandkids photo books of all the activities we’ve done together and creating history at the same time.
An easy way to create photo journals is through Costco Photo Center, Shutterfly, and other places. You can create colorful pages using photos and write about each memory and event for history. And they’re less work!
#8 Family Newsletter
Family newsletters are great—but they are a lot of work unless some unsuspecting family member has loads of time on their hands and wants to drag information out of family members to include in the newsletter.
Email is a great way to ask for information and the perfect way to digitally send your family newsletter.
No need to reinvent the wheel so check out these places for templates:
- Spruce Crafts
- Adobe Express for editable newsletter templates to create and download for free
- Saved From Salvage
To avoid a hassle—send out ONE newsletter per year and rotate who gets the “honor” of doing the family newsletter.
What do you do to make your family history for kids and family fun? Please share in the comment section below.